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WHAT DOES THE TRIP INCLUDE?
All trips include hotel, baggage transfer, guide maps and tourist information. Meals are included but vary from trip to trip on how many meals! Each tour indicates what it includes in the description and makes note as to what options may also be paid for such as bike rental. Some tours include special extras such as admissions to attractions, picnics, and so on. Please read each tour description carefully.
HOW WILL I GET TO THE STARTING POINT OF THE TOUR?
Connections and getting there can be arranged through our offices as well as any other add-ons to your tour. We often book car and both TGV and local train travel. There are limits on airplane baggage and train baggage with the TGV, so be sure to check with us. Most tours will require you to get from the airport or train station to the starting hotel, but some will include picking you up and dropping you off. Check the tour descriptions.
HOW FAR IS A KILOMETER?
Roughly 1.6 kilometers is a mile (ex: 50 km is about 31 miles). All French distance markers are in kilometers, so to help you track progress, all of our distances are quoted in kilometers.
IS SELF-GUIDED TOTALLY ALONE?
One of the largest US cycling magazines has even confounded what this type of travel means, and therefore it is easily misunderstood! This is NOT SELF-CONTAINED bicycle touring. Bags are transported and most of the services of a guided trip are provided!
Yes, you can be independent, but you’re never totally alone. The trips are at your pace, however each night you have the comfort of knowing you have a room reserved and paid for in a charming location with an excellent meal and sites to see. Also, detailed guide maps provide all the information you’ll need in explicit terms so that you won’t get lost. You will have the phone number of each hotel, and our French office. All of the tours include daily briefings by our staff, usually in person after you arrive at your first hotel. Self-guided for these tours means partially supported. Perhaps the greatest quality of a self-guided tour is that you are never dependent on other group members for dates of travel, speed of cycling, visits desired, etc. You can do mostly what you want, when you want!
HOW DOES YOUR GUIDANCE APPLICATION WORK?
Our guidance application can be downloaded onto your smartphone (Windows or iOS) in a few seconds using a simple QR code. Very easy to use, it gives you access to your chosen Discover France itinerary, day by day. Its offline mode uses very little of your phone’s battery. You’ll never get lost. Following your itinerary is child’s play.
HOW DOES YOUR 7/7 ASSISTANCE WORK?
When you travel with Discover France, you have access to a dedicated phone number and a team of travel advisors available to you 7 days a week, from 9 am to 7 pm. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about the itinerary, the program, your hotels, how to use your bike, or anything else related to your stay. In the event of a mechanical problem, we promise to have you back on the road within an hour.
WHAT IS YOUR LUGGAGE TRANSFER SERVICE?
For your comfort, the Discover France teams will transport your luggage from hotel to hotel. This allows you to take only the bare minimum on your bike, enjoy the pleasure of pedaling lightly, and find your baggage at your hotel upon arrival.
ARE SUPPORT VANS AVAILABLE AND HOW IS LUGGAGE TRANSFERRED?
Bags are transferred for the self-guided trips via pre-arranged transportation with the hotel. You will need to have bags packed and left at the checkout desk by 9:00 am, or it will be noted what time bags must be dropped. Check for any bag limits. Bags are dropped at the hotel by 6pm (latest time). We have never lost a bag – don’t worry about that!
On guided trips, van support is provided and all bags will be carried by the van. However the van may not be carrying the bags at all times during the day. Your things may be transferred, prior to a sweep of the route by the van. Guides will advise the groups about bag drop times and planned transfers.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
You will be provided with a suggested packing list. Its up to you to decide what additional things to bring. Depending on your total trip time in France, you may have bags which you won’t need on the bike tour. We suggest you make arrangements to store bags during the bike tour if you won’t need them. Ask our staff for suggestions in coordinating your total voyage.
HOW DO YOU SELECT YOUR HOTELS?
Discover France works with more than 300 hotels in France, ranging from 2 to 5 stars. All have undergone a rigorous selection process based on strict quality criteria. Discover France’s quality teams carry out regular inspection visits and we pay close attention to all feedback from our travelers.
WHAT ABOUT SINGLE ROOMS?
Single supplements are available in nearly every tour. This is an extra charge over the quoted double room rate which is a shared rate. If you are traveling with others, you will be booked into a double unless you indicate in advance your single preference. NOTE: Solo travelers are welcome, but a higher solo supplement is applicable to cover costs that aren’t shared such as bag transfers, orientation, etc.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1, 2, 3, 4 STARS IN HOTELS?
The French rate their hotels based on a variety of amenities and services offered. Luxury hotels will naturally be at the top of the ratings at 4 star. Most of the hotels used are 3 and 4 star properties. This rating ensures you a excellent quality hotel property with room containing a private bathroom and shower at a minimum among other amenities. Most all of the properties will contain a restaurant, and if the property does not it will have an arrangement with a very close restaurant. You can expect to be able to store your bike either in a special storage area or in your room. All of the hotels used are bicycle friendly. In general, you are paying for a very good and charming hotel with excellent services. We never use chain hotels, and we as much as is available will choose a typical hotel, historic property, with friendly staff. Additional amenities such as swimming pools, internet/wifi, jacuzzi, etc. may be available, and upgrades are noted where available.
WHAT MEALS ARE INCLUDED AND WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED?
This is the best part of travel in France!This is certainly no time to go on a diet, but as you will learn, in France many wonderful things can be enjoyed in moderation. All of the tours offer cuisine of the region, and suggestions for places to visit and specialties to enjoy will be available. The tours vary as to what each includes, and therefore read the description carefully. For meals that are included, if you have a special need, please let us know in advance and we will make every effort to meet those needs. In nearly every case, beverages are not included with meals, (your individual purchase).
WHAT ABOUT WINE TASTING, AND VISITING WINERIES?
Wines of France are both plentiful and excellent, and the caves on our routes make great stops to visit. If you enjoy a good wine, we are happy to transport if for you if our transport is available, but alcohol is your individual purchase, and you are expected to respect the French laws. Several of the tours include tasting, but not purchases for “carryout”.
HOW DO I BOOK A TRIP?
Its very simple. Complete the online booking form over our 128 bit encrypted secure site , or you can go to our Brochure & Booking page and follow the instructions for printing and faxing a completed form. Be sure to read our Terms & Conditions as well. If you want, you can call us at 800-929-0152 to have us fax a booking form to you. We require a credit card or check deposit to complete the booking request, but we do not charge credit cards nor deposit checks until all hotel space is confirmed. If it is, then we confirm the dates with you and charge the deposit. If it is not, we will work to find convenient alternatives, which may only involve adjusting by one or two days or going to alternate hotels.
I NEED HELP WITH AIR, TRAINS, AND PARIS HOTELS, CAN YOU HELP?
Yes, we can help with car rentals, hotels and other special services. Our company is capable of providing all these services and often do so with the exception of airfare. Regarding train tickets, we can help by recommending websites and schedule that would work for your itinerary, but we cannot book the train tickets for you.
Within this site you can discover more than just our tours, but also information about the regions of France, and information about traveling in France. Most important though for anyone visiting our site and considering a vacation in France is that you can CALL US! Let our service and knowledge set us apart! This website isn’t to help us avoid speaking to clients, but to facilitate your planning process, and hopefully get you the information you need right away. If you have a question though, please contact us if you have any questions about our services to France.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL?
Consult the Terms and conditions. Stiff penalties apply for cancellation within 60 days of the tour start. Insurance is available through our office at the time of booking to protect certain unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to have to cancel. At the moment, the insurance offered as optional only covers US and Canadian residents.
WHY DO YOU PRICE IN EUROS, AND HOW DO I PAY FOR MY TRIP?
Prices in Euros are shown as all of our costs in Europe are based in Euros. We can price our tours and calculate a fair profit based on this and independent of fluctuation in currency values. This is done primarily as a benefit to our clients – you can compare better, and you can know that you are not paying more for a fictitious exchange rate that may or may not be in play at the time of your trip.
Paying for your services is done in $US, or Euros. Paying in Euros is possible by wire transfer or by credit card and wire transfer for $US. We convert to $US at current exchange rates so you can save money from your bank might charge you. See the Terms section to know more about methods for making your final payment.